Friday, July 31, 2020

I bet you didn't know I always wanted to skydive!

Well, I haven't. 🙂  Thursday was our first Harvest Hosts overnight experience.  We appreciated Skydive Chicago in Ottawa, IL letting us spend the night! 

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Storage improvements

Storage is at a premium in most RVs, so anything we can do to improve the usability is a good idea. We have two overhead cabinets that are 20" tall with no shelves and another two that are 16".  Since we have very few things that tall, we are either wasting a lot of space or piling stuff so deep that it is difficult to find anything.  So, how did we attempt to fix this?

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

National Chicken Wing Day!

Wings from Quinton's in Cedar Rapids and beer.

I got prescriptions filled, just a few groceries, did the last laundry until we get back next week, washer ran through a clean cycle, AND we got to share National Chicken Wing day with Chris!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Empty RV

Thanks Chris for helping us unload, store (in garage and 2 bedrooms), taking a picture (I was totally negligent in my duty all day), and maybe reload in a couple of weeks?  I think taking it out was easier than it will be putting it back in.  The RV is really naked.  Nothing  much in the basement, under the bed, dinette seats, or in the fridge. 

Monday, July 27, 2020

A change in plans

We were supposed to stay here until Weds., but...  Pat realized we were double booked tomorrow night, so we decided to pack up today and head out tomorrow.  

The Journey Continues part A

Pat and Eric working on installing the new batteries.

I started using Sunday to fill in the time from when we started traveling until we started blogging.  With only 2 months (Jan. and Feb. 2020) left, I've moved from numbers to letters in our journey.  Why you might ask?  No idea why, that's just me. 😀  In January we still had reservations at the "cockle-bur" park, Dellanera in Galveston.  We did have to change spots, and the new spot had a few less cockle-burs.  We also had the best neighbors!  Next door were the "unofficial" campground hosts, Craig and Glenn from Minnesota.  If you needed to know anything about the park, or about anyone in it, they knew! They had been coming to this park for several years.  Across from us were Gayle and Norm from Oklahoma.  They all made the cockle-burs a lot more bearable.

Eric took a day to come and help Pat install the new batteries.  It was a lot of work and took most of the day.  We sure appreciated Eric's help and expertise.  

Friday, July 24, 2020

Off exploring without Krikkit

 Echo Rock

Thursday we took a nostalgic tour through the Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton.  We went down memory lane, seeing the places we had been on past trips here:  restaurants, campgrounds, water resorts, and attractions.  It was fun reminiscing!  We continued on to Mirror Lake near Baraboo, WI.  Krikkit was a little under the weather so she stayed at the RV.  Pat and I took the Echo Rock Trail.  Part of it was paved and the rest had wood chips.  We climbed up on Echo Rock to see what we could see.  There are several other trails so we will probably go back.  There were only a few people here.  

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Fixes and Fails - More rubber protection

In addition to the rubber conditioner, we also take steps to protect some of the other rubber components.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Good-bye Upper Peninsula, hello ????

350 miles for a long drive today.

We enjoyed our time at Wilderness RV Park in Lac La Belle.  It is a fairly new, smaller park of about 15 sites, located on Lake Lac La Belle.  4 of the sites have full hook-ups.  That means we get to see a variety of campers, including tenters.  I miss tenting at times, but it was raining much of yesterday so I was happy to sit inside and watch them.  It has lots of trees (does make for a lot of mud if it rains), level sites, fire rings, nice picnic tables and very clean.  They also have a few cabins.  There is no Verizon service or TV stations, but there is wifi.  There is fishing at the lake and ATV trails in the area.  The only other negative is the sewer connection is in the back and you need at least 20', maybe 30' of hose.  The best part is the owners are very nice! 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Our last day in the UP

We really enjoyed our time in the Upper Peninsula.  If you haven't been I would highly recommend it. I would suggest going in the summer though, unless you are really fond of snow!

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lighthouses, mountains, and rocks, oh, my

Copper Harbor and Lake Superior from the top of Brockway Mountain

Sunday we found Sand Hills Lighthouse by 5 Mile Point.  I think it was bugging Pat that he couldn't find it the other day.  We tackled Brockway Mountain, in the car, and looked for the Estivant Pines Wilderness Nature Sanctuary.  Monday we toured the Houghton/Hancock area.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Thanks to Toni and Eric for hosting the Piepers for Christmas, part 17

Pat's niece Robin, and her husband Robert, live within walking distance of Eric.  They were leaving for Christmas and needed dog sitters for their 2 seniors, Bill and Ted.  I think it worked out well for both of us.  Josh and his family stayed with Eric's, and we stayed at Robin's along with Chris.  Thanks to Eric and Toni for putting up with all of us!

Saturday, July 18, 2020

LOVED our Friday!

Friday was a picture perfect day!  We took off with Krikkit in the morning in search of Lighthouses.  None of them are actually open this season but you can still look around. We went past Phoenix, as in Michigan, backtracked and turned on MI 26, took an unprofitable detour, then back on 26 to and past Copper Harbor.

Friday, July 17, 2020

Copper Harbor

Fort Wilkins married housing, located just outside the gates of the fort

Thursday we set out to explore Copper Harbor, about 15 miles and 30 minutes from our RV park, and right on Lake Superior.  It is an unincorporated area near the end of Keweenaw Peninsula.  We visited Copper Harbor, Fort Wilkins, and Lake Fanny Hooe.  Fort Wilkins  was located in Fort Wilkins State Park.  This is a restored 1844 military outpost that defended the copper miners from Chippewa Indians during the copper boom.  It was used from 1844-1877.   The Works Projects Administration, WPA, stabilized the few remaining buildings and reconstructed the fort from 1939-1942.  There are 19 structures, 12 of which are original, including the Light House that is further down the road.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Conditioning the rubber

If you don't know, all of those slides on RVs are sealed with rubber seals, so if you want to keep the weather out, you may want to condition them.

We are using 3-IN-ONE RV care Rubber conditioner.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

I'm a travelin' man...

...or so it seems. We left Top O' the morn at 8 :30 CDT and, after a couple of stops, arrived at Wilderness Resort in Lac La Belle, MI around 3ish EDT.  It's a new, small campground that is shady and beautiful.  Lots of shade, good for sitting out, not so good for solar.  Since power is included we don't care about the solar.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

We're a little cheesy

This morning we headed to Benoit Cheese Haus in Benoit, WI.  It so happened Tues., Thurs., and Fri. Are fresh cheese curd days.  They aren't made there, but somewhere else in WI.  Ok, maybe they are made there. They had a very tiny squeak to them but they didn't appear they were made today.  In Kalona, IA we could watch them being made, and they were very fresh and very squeaky.  Nevertheless, Benoit's cheese curds were tasty and made up our lunch, and a little snack for Krikkit.  Pat said they had a large variety of other cheeses but they weren't ones made by them.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Top O' the Morn to ya!

We have had fun in Northern MN but its time to be moving on again. We left Orr, MN at 9 this morning, and after a short stop at Walmart and for fuel, we arrived at our next spot.  I'm certainly not a perfect blogger, but I learned yesterday to not blog with a headache.  I had to go back and make a LOT of corrections this morning.  Sorry!

Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Journey begins, part 16 To

At the very end of November we moved just down the road to try another RV Park, Dellanera, on the beach side of the road.  It didn't have the amenities of Jamaica Beach, but it was just a walk across the board walk to the beach.  I liked being closer to the beach but the cockle burs here were just too much.  They were everywhere, and made it hard for Krikkit to walk in the RV park.  We met Eric's, and Toni's parents at a Mexican restaurant to celebrate my birthday.  We also attended Christmas on Main in LaPorte.  Our grand-kids attend La Porte schools. There were lots of vendors, kids activities, local school bands and choirs and lots of people.  Emma played in the Jr. Band and Alexa sang in the elementary school choir.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

International Falls

Friday we took a trip up to International Falls, MN, population 6,000+.  It was about an hours drive.  It is located on the Rainy River just across from Fort Francis Ontario.  The 35' cascading "falls" are now concealed under the reservoir formed by the dam on the Rainy river.

Friday, July 10, 2020

Ellsworth Rock Gardens

We really enjoyed our water taxi tour of Lake Kabetogama with Larry Thurs. morning. We saw islands, eagle's nests, a bald eagle, islands, a beaver's home, Gold Portage (water connecting Rainy Lake and Lake Kabetogama), Ellsworth Rock Gardens, and did I mention islands?

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Ladder in an RV

Our RV is close to 12 feet tall, so when you need to reach something and leaning precariously over from the roof is not an option, you are going to need a ladder.  But where do you put a 6 foot step ladder?  It would fit in the basement, but then nothing else would  and that is not an option.  I have seen some people strap an 8' step ladder to the RV's roof access ladder, but Ann thinks that would make us look too much like the Beverly Hillbillies.  So, the solution is:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Voyageurs National Park--another one to scratch off the map

It's been a while but we have another National Park to scratch off the list.  Today was an explore day in Voyageurs.  Voyageurs is a water-based park with lots of interconnecting water ways, meaning exploring most of it requires doing it from the water.  We also went to Vermilion Falls Overlook, not in the National Park, but on our way home.  

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

The UFO has been identified

Pat said the monarch must have flown quite close to his lens.  How funny!  If you didn't see the "UFO," check yesterday's blog.

Monday, July 6, 2020

A SPECTACULAR day on Minnesota's North Shore!!

This was the best day yet, for sightseeing.  We left our campground and headed towards Grand Marais, a small town 40 miles SW of the Canadian border.  We took the scenic road, or as Pat puts it, the only road.  I felt like I was ooohing and aaahing at fireworks.  If  there wasn't  snow in the winter this might be a place to live when we're done traveling.  I am in love with Grand Marais!!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Journey begins, part 15

November was a busy month.  Eric and his family  came to visit for a day.  They wanted to try out the giant indoor hot tub.  We had fun at the beach, hit the hot tub, played pickleball and the three older girls were they only ones in the COLD outdoor pools!  We finished off with dinner at Coastal Grill and, naturally, a trip to La Kings.  We didn't go up on the steep roof, but we attempted to help Eric and his girls decorate their house for Christmas via the ground.  It was a sad month too, as we lost our grand-dog, Sadie.  She was a great dog and was always so excited when we, or anyone visited.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!

Hope everyone was able to enjoy July 4th.  No firework displays allowed in MN this year--Krikkit will be happy, lol.

We took a trip to Two Harbors, MN this morning, Friday.  It is a town of 3700.  It is very much a tourist destination but it also has a history, past and present, in iron ore. It was a gorgeous morning to be outside.  Breezy along the lake and in the 70's.  I didn't think about it or we would have taken a picnic lunch as others were doing.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Gooseberry Falls

Question of the day:  Would you let your husband cut your hair????

On Thursday we went to Gooseberry Falls State Park.  Disappointed that the lighthouse at Split Rock State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse, was closed due to Covid.  Actually we expected the actual lighthouse to be closed, and wouldn't have gone in during this busy time if it were open. The sad part was the entire lighthouse area was closed.  I posted a picture on the 30th of Split Rock when we visited 8 years ago. We did hike to Gooseberry Falls at Gooseberry State Park today.  Whereas there were quite a few people there, it wasn't as busy as I thought it would be with it being the week before the 4th.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Fixes and Fails - Bunk Ladder

Our 2019 Thor Palazzo has a front drop-down bunk that includes a ladder for accessing it.  Unfortunately, they don't provide any place for storing the ladder.  It won't fit under the bed and takes up a lot of room in the basement storage.  So we came up with a method for attaching it to the one free wall space.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Lake Gitche Gumee

Today we had to return to Duluth for an errand, so we went to Canal Park to see the early 1900's Aerial Lift Bridge.  First we drove across the bridge and back.  The 386 foot, 900 ton span lifts up to allow boats to proceed through the canal.  When we got to Canal Park the white-board said a boat would go through at 11:45 a.m. and then at 8:45 p.m.  Just our luck because we arrived at 1:00 p.m.!😞  We were bummed, and then they announced a test boat was going through so we got to watch after all.